17 October 2014

Cannabis is an herb. It belongs to the same class of commonly used plants as Chamomile, Comfrey, and Coltsfoot, known as herbs, which have a long and distinguished history of industrial, medicinal, and recreational usage dating back to the earliest days of human history. To pretend that cannabis is somehow different than these other plants is to make a major mistake in both classification and characterization.

Under the food supplement guidelines set by Senator Orrin Hatch, (See the "Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA)." the above named herbs, (Chamomile, Comferey, and Coltsfoot) are essentially unregulated.

Aside from routine safety and commercial regulations insuring that the proffered items are...
A...Unadulterated,
B...Properly labeled and advertised for what they are,
C...Safely packaged, processed, transported, and stored,
D...Properly taxed at the point of sale according to the routine business laws already in place for commercial transactions, (and I am NOT referring here to the institution of any of the so-called "Sin Tax" taxes such as are routinely applied to Tobacco and or Alcohol.)...

sale and marketing of these, (Comfrey, Coltsfoot, and Chamomile as well as thousands of other herbs, spices, and dietary supplements.) are essentially unregulated.

Why should another herb, (Cannabis) be treated any differently?

In fact, it should NOT be treated any differently.

The real truth is that creating a special regulatory category for Cannabis is a deeply flawed policy. Doing so causes unnecessary inefficiency and waste in government by demanding a special group of regulators, taxmen, bureaucrats, and enforcers to manage the paperwork and enforcement that such regulations impose. They clog the courts with needless cases of loss of personal liberty and individual freedoms. All of this is done at enormous expense to the state.

It is clearly quite pointless, as well as an easily seen violation of the basic principals of individual freedom that our country is SUPPOSED to based upon.

By pretending that a law that actually imposes stricter standards on cannabis than already exist is some kind of a solution and a fix for the "Medical Usage" of cannabis in the State of Ohio is pretty laughable. The current proposals include some serious defects. A quick reading of the bill reveals the following...
1. This does not address hashish or oil's at all, which could be used to hang a grower or user easily.
2. They still use cannabis (meaning root to tip and every leaf between) in places that "usable cannabis" (buds) would make a lot more sense from our side of the table.
3. The way the current bill is written, only a cardholder can be a caregiver to a cardholder. (This gives cause for wonder as to how many of these chronically ill patients are able to grow and tend a garden for themselves?)
4. The current proposal says very vaguely, that "prior drug offenses" can be used as reason to deny access to a Medical Users Card, but don't set down any actual guidelines as to what offenses, how long in the past, or any details...its all up to discretion.
Clearly these problems need to be addressed.
My proposal is to say- Let's not try to differentiate between different classes of users, or for that matter, different classes of Herbs.

Lets treat Cannabis JUST THE SAME as if it was any other commonly used herb, make it legally no different than Chamomile or Comfrey or Coltsfoot.

All of those plants are protected by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). Why not just cut to the chase, and treat Cannabis no differently?

Of course there is also the historical aspect to consider in all this.

The United States Constitution was written on paper made of hemp.

It used to be REQUIRED that a landowner actually GROW HEMP to pay taxes with, (The gathered hemp was used as a naval resource for rope, sailcloth, fabric for uniforms, and for deriving various protective and sealant applications such as pitch, tar, and paint.)

Every U.S. President from George Washington to Theodore Roosevelt used hemp for it's medicinal qualities, as did John F. Kennedy.

Former Vice-President and President George Bush's life was saved when he parachuted to earth on a parachute made of ...HEMP, (During WWII).

So... THINK ABOUT IT....

Our current proposal has serious flaws as outlined above.

Our current batch of laws and regulations are also deeply flawed and inimical to the basic American concepts of freedom and liberty.

Lets fix the problem through SIMPLIFICATION...Lets make Cannabis as "Legal as lettuce". (Did you know that the baby lettuce plant posses narcotic-like properties that have been used as painkillers by doctors in times of shortage? Tis true!)

Let us recognize Cannabis for what it REALLY is, just another useful herb with many beneficial qualities. It would save the government a LOT of money.

It would provide a boon to the economy by creating new markets and jobs.

It would help farmers by providing a very useful and easily produced cash crop.

It would provide industry with a superior fiber source for paper, paint, chemicals, textiles, and plastics. It would also restore faith in the legitimacy of the government to many who have been criminalized for using it, as well as restoring a portion of our rapidly eroding personal freedoms in the post 9/11 "War on Terror", (Which has done quite a job of terrorizing our own citizens).

So yeah, let's do it.

Let us FIX this proposed law, let us CHANGE it's provisions, let us treat Cannabis just as any other common garden herb, and make it "Legal as Lettuce."

Sincerely,
Chris "The Anarchist" Ryan,
Lead Organizer of the 2010 edition of the Columbus Ohio Chapter of the Million Marijuana March, and Founder of the Ohio Hempfest.